Samara Donald is: The Gym Coach

Make the most of your workout!

H is for Hamstrings

Samara_dec09_0153I often get the question “what’s the back part of my leg called again?” Well it’s your hamstrings – at least the upper part of your back leg. Actually, what we often call the “hamstrings” is actually a group of three large muscles (biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus) which work to move the hip and support the knee. Thus, working the hamstring will not just give you shapely legs, but help make you stronger for everyday activities.

I almost always work my legs in one fell swoop,  but like all other muscles doing a focus day on one muscle group is often a good idea. So here I’ve developed a “back of legs” day – a quick 15-20 minute routine focused on the hams. follow this with 20-25 minutes of high intensity cardio – for maximum efficiency something on an incline (which puts the emphasis on back of legs), like an incline run or stair master.

Hamstrings Workout: (perform after 3-5 minute warm up)

1. Dead Lift – 15 reps with dumbbells (image above) or barbell

2. Ball Curl – 15 reps (advanced: balance a dumbbell on your hips)

3. Step Back Lunge – 15 reps each leg – using dumbbells or a barbell

REPEAT 3 times

Follow with 20 min+ incline type workout (stair master, incline run/walk, hike, elliptical with incline)

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This entry was posted on May 27, 2011 by in fitness.
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